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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Let the campaign start

Uploaded: Mar 3, 2016
The majority of the Pleasanton City Council made the right call Tuesday night when they scheduled an election to determine whether the public will uphold their approval of a 43-home development on Lund Ranch on the southeast side of town.
The expense is not-trivial (about $250,00), but it is cheap compared to letting a neighborhood with some wealthy residents pervert a reasonable government process—even if, in Pleasanton’s way, it took way too long. This pits one neighborhood against another and the council did its best to split the baby by routing streets so about 25 percent of the traffic went through one neighborhood, while the rest went through the other one where homeowners were notified when they closed their purchase that there was the possibility of traffic to Lund Ranch as well as to the Callippe Preserve golf course.
Folks in Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhood hired a consultant and paid signature gatherers to mount the petition drive. It certainly was not a community-wide uprising—it was driven by a tiny percentage of Pleasanton citizens to overturn a decision that they should have expected before they moved in.
Just how this will play out at the ballot box given the misleading material used by the signature gatherers remains to be seen. One difference is the developer, Greenbriar Homes, will be engaged with its cash to get its side of the story out to the public.
It was disappointing to see Councilwoman Karla Brown calling for her colleagues to rescind their approval based on finances when family wealth paid for the petition drive.
There is a core principle at stake here—a reasonable process that led to a major compromise (174 acres of open space that is publically accessible unlike Karla’s neighborhood where the open space is private) vs. folks with money buying a way to overturn a council decision. Since the signature-gathering drive hit the required number (barely), then it’s time for the citizens to decide.

Comments

 +   16 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 4, 2016 at 9:10 am

Dear Tim,

Spot on analysis and commentary. Couldn't have stated it better myself.

You nailed it.

Let's hope the majority of voters in Pleasanton will also appreciate what's been going on here, too, and vote to approve the project, reaffirming what the Mayor and majority of City Councilmembers previously approved on January 25th after 25 YEARS of debate and discussions on this project.

I trust that they will.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 4, 2016 at 9:12 am

Correction on date referenced--meant to state January 5th, not January 25th.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by Alexis B, a resident of Mission Park,
on Mar 4, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Alexis B is a registered user.

Tim - Thanks for posting this. I couldn't have said it better myself. Pleasanton residents were outright lied to, and it is a shame that any of this is happening. This is 100% a traffic issue that has unnecessarily been blown out of proportion because Sycamore Heights/Bridle Creek neighborhoods (who have no cut-through traffic) are unwilling to accept their share of future traffic from 43 homes. Instead, they want it all to be diverted into the Mission Hills Park neighborhoods, which is already so overburdened. Your article truly spoke to the hypocrisy of this whole referendum, and I appreciate your honest analysis of the situation.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Kerry B, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 11:25 am

The Pleasanton City Council needs to understand that they are making decisions that affect all Pleasanton citizens, and need to get adequate input before making decisions. Yes, putting this to a vote is the best way to go, so everyone understands that the residents of Pleasanton are the final arbiters of what is wanted and needed in their community!


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Ordinary Joe, a resident of Pleasanton Heights,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 11:28 am

Speaking of money, will we be informed of how much Greenbrier Homes spends on getting people to vote in their favor as well as the group sponsoring the referendum? Is the process going to be transparent, so we can understand who is trying to influence us? Or will it be more of the same?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

It would be interesting to know how many of the residents in the Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhoods are members of Costco and support the possible Costco development currently in discussion?


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 6:45 pm

@Ordinary Joe,

Don't know whether Greenbriar will disclose how much they will be spending on any of their advertising.

Also don't know whether developer Allen Roberts, Councilmember Karla Brown, and the residents of Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek will disclose how much they will be spending on any advertising, either.

I can tell you Allen Roberts refused to disclose the name of the company they hired to collect signatures that provided enough to qualify the referendum on the ballot by less than 300 signatures.

Why is that? Maybe you should ask him or Councilmember Brown.

@Kerry B,

The Pleasanton City Council DOES understand that they are making decisions that affect ALL Pleasanton citizens, and they DID get adequate input before making decisions.

Are you aware of the MANY public workgroups, Planning Commission and City Council meetings over the past several YEARS that have taken place regarding Lund Ranch II?

RE: "..the residents of Pleasanton are the final arbiters of what is wanted and needed in their community!"

That's folly, specifically with respect to property rights. You should review the 5th Amendment of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution. Greenbriar may, at some point, choose to pursue a 'takings' lawsuit against the City, at a further potential cost to taxpayers that would be in the tens of millions of dollars. The developer (and all property owners) have well-established rights that are guaranteed under the 5th Amendment.

Web Link

The Mayor and City Council made the best possible decision for ALL of Pleasanton while adhering to the law, respecting Measure PP, being FAIR, and declining to vote in favor of a select few, as one observer has pointed out responding to another Town Square post, that, quote, "..have enough money to hire lawyers to threaten suits, firms to gather petition signatures, and carry on vigorous media campaigns..to pay for keeping their viewshed in their exclusive neighborhoods.."

One of those select few is Councilmember Karla Brown.

But please, don't take my words above for it. Read long-time Pleasanton resident and respected journalist Tim Hunt's blog post from 3/3/16: Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm

DKHSK is a registered user.

I support new Costco.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Resident of Ventana Hills, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm

@Kerry B,

Meant to say you should RE-read Tim's post above, especially the passage about "..letting a neighborhood with some wealthy residents pervert a reasonable government process.."

That's what's going on here. This is an objection to traffic flow into a housing project that's been on the books since 1986 that folks who are wealthy enough to contest are continuing to pursue.

Please don't allow yourself and your neighbors to be fooled by their false altruism that masks their real motivations/ulterior motives.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Mar 5, 2016 at 7:02 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

DKSHK, do you approve or disapprove to the 43 home development on Lund Ranch II development as approved by the Pleasanton city council?


 +   12 people like this
Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Mar 6, 2016 at 7:43 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

Approve and I've acknowledged that in other threads.

I signed papers many years ago acknowledging the building of the new neighborhood AND Sycamore Heights.
All residents in both neighborhoods signed the same docs, so they are being disingenuous when they fight this.

And BTW I will say this: Greenbriar is a stand-up builder. They have honored every request we made without any hassle when we had issues with the house. I don't remember the superintendents name but he was exceptional.

Disclaimer: I do not work for Greenbriar or any related construction business.



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